Abstract The properties of a proposed method for separating proton and deuteron spin-dependent effects in l n = 0(d, p) reactions have been investigated using numerical DWBA calculations. Particular emphasis has been placed on determining the effects of the deuteron D-state on the validity and utility of this technique. Calculations for 116Sn(d, p) 117Sn(g.s.) at 8.22 and 18 MeV and for 90Zr(d, p) 91Zr ( E x = 1.21 MeV) at 12 MeV revealed that the separation of proton and deuteron spin-dependent effects is possible whether the D-state effects are included or not. The D-state contributions to the proton polarization and vector analyzing power were found to depend quadratically on the D-state parameter D 2, rather than linearly as had been suggested by earlier work.